The Warehouse is following the footsteps of supermarkets and experiencing high demand and stock shortages of products such as heaters, bedding and toasters.

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Four days ago, the Government allowed the likes of the Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Briscoes and Mitre 10 to sell essential goods, such as heaters, whiteware and computers.

The decision was made in recognition of the need for people to safely isolate, stay connected to one another and work or study from home.

In a message on its website, the Warehouse said it is experiencing high demand on essential items, working hard to get these back in stock and apologises if people's first choice is not available.

The notice comes as Mitre 10 launches an online home delivery service today for essential goods.

Key products include heaters, dehumidifiers, light bulbs and globes, hand tools, padlocks, firewood, batteries, sealants and silicones, work boots and gumboots, work wear, torches, spouting, down pipes, smoke alarms, child safety items and small household appliances.

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Businesses are only permitted to sell products online. Supermarkets, dairies and pharmacies remain open and have controls in place for customers to stick to the two-metre physical separation rule.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said in order to protect public safety there will be conditions around the selling of items by businesses.

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Businesses must operate responsibly and only make available for sale genuine essential goods - goods that are necessities of life while ensuring we restrict the movement of people and workers to combat Covid-19.

The public must order responsibly, purchasing only those items that are absolutely necessary to facilitate life and work during the lockdown period.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is setting up a website for Kiwi to raise concerns about supermarket price rises during the coronavirus lockdown.

In order to be able to sell these essential goods, businesses must:
• Only take orders online or by phone and keep storefronts shut.
• Take orders for only essential non-food goods.
• Home deliver all essential goods in a contactless way and not allow people to visit stores to select or collect goods.
• Take all appropriate public health measures to protect their staff and customers (e.g. physical distancing, hygiene basics, appropriate personal protective equipment).
• Notify MBIE that they meet these conditions and intend to offer essential goods for sale and provide a list of those products.

MBIE has warned if businesses can't meet these conditions they should not offer to sell essential goods while the country is at alert level 4.

"If businesses are too generous in their interpretation of what is 'essential' or flout these rules, Government will take further action."

Essential goods are those that will keep people warm (heaters, blankets), replace key household appliances, and maintain people's health. Examples of essential products are blankets, fridges, heaters and computers or tablets to work from home or do distance learning, or simply connect with people.

"If people can't buy these, then we risk people venturing out of their homes more often," MBIE said.